The hole in CTA seats | What’s up with that?
The whole truth about the hole in CTA vehicle seats.
Why do all CTA seats have that hole in the center? Is it there for—yuck!—fluid drainage?
“The holes in the seats,” says Chicago Transit Authority spokeswoman Catherine Hosinski, “are in fact there to allow any spilled liquids to drain to the floor.” That’s a stomach-turning safeguard if you consider that drinking and eating are prohibited on the agency’s vehicles. But Hosinski says, “Spills do occur from travel coffee mugs and containers or even from rain-soaked items such as umbrellas.” So why those stain-magnet upholstered seats? The CTA lines the chairs in that blue, carpet-like cloth, Hosinski says, because it’s more comfortable to sit on, and as opposed to plastic and vinyl, the durable, woven Kevlar material prevents graffiti taggers. “The obvious drawback is the fact that cloth seats hold more germs,” she says, “which is why we have invested in deep-cleaning water vacuums.” On the new 5000 series rail cars, the CTA is trying to take the dread out of taking a seat on the El, using inserts made of anti-stain and anti-microbial fiber. Great, but advanced textile technology can’t replace the good ol’ reliable pee check.